State of the Republic: transfers
08:58, 04 Aug 2011
Which Irish players are on the go and might could well be soon....
Brian Murphy (Free agent)
Murphy is expected to complete his move to Premier League new boys Queens Park Rangers this month. The former Bohemians man will snap at the chance to play in one of the world’s top leagues, only two years after playing at home in Ireland. Murphy impressed in a solitary season at Ipswich Town, before his campaign was ended with an ankle injury. Murphy must have been aware of interest from the top flight following his rejection of a new contract at Ipswich in May, and will be anxious to conclude the transfer to Neil Warnock’s side. The Waterford man was last called into the Ireland squad for the World Cup play-off defeat to France, and has yet to be capped.
Stephen Kelly (Fulham)
It is becoming increasingly obvious Kelly will be starting the vast majority of games from the bench should he stay at Fulham. The full-back was once more in the dugout for the Londoners’ scoreless draw away to Spilt, and remained there. To further his Ireland career, Kelly will at least need to be playing regular football, and it has been a long time since he has enjoyed that. Expect talks between player and manager in the days to come, and a probable move from Craven Cottage.
Darren O'Dea (Celtic/ Signed on loan by Leeds United)
O'Dea will make his long-awaited move from Celtic, as Leeds United have come from nowhere to secure his services via a loan move. The centre-back is desperate to play first team football after admitting during the week, "I don’t think I’ve ever played more than four games in a row at centre-half [for Celtic]". O'Dea will join two other former Ireland players in Alex Bruce and Andy O'Brien at Elland Road. Interestingly, the three, all centre-halves, will battle it out for a first-team place.
Keith Andrews (Blackburn Rovers)
Ipswich Town are being heavily linked with a season-long loan move for Andrews. Leeds United, Portsmouth, and Nottingham Forest are the other Championship clubs thought to be interested in his services. On 3 August it was reported Andrews is most likely to end up at Ipswich, after struggling to impress at Ewood Park. He has been informed that dropping a division will not harm a starting birth with his country.
James McCarthy (Wigan Athletic)
English side Liverpool are reported to be considering a £15m bid to lure contract rebel McCarthy to Anfield. The highly-rated 20-year-old has been linked to some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs for large portions of the summer, and things are heating up. Should McCarthy’s difficult contract negotiations fail to advance, the club may decide to cash in on the youngster. Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal have also been heavily linked to McCarthy, but Liverpool are displaying the strongest intentions now. McCarthy has even been touted as “Steven Gerrard’s replacement”, so if he chooses Anfield, no pressure young man.
Darron Gibson (Manchester United)
Things have gone eerily quiet since Gibson’s proposed transfer to Sunderland collapsed last month. One has to have a degree of sympathy with the 23-year-old, whose future looks very uncertain. Gibson was last linked with a loan move away from Manchester, with Wigan Athletic mentioned, but that may not appeal to him. It is clear he has no future at Old Trafford but right now he is, as Alex Ferguson succinctly put it, “in limbo”.
Robbie Keane (Tottenham Hotspur)
QPR boss Neil Warnock has spoken of how he has been ordered to “get value for money”, as Keane was again linked with a move to Queens Park Rangers. The 31-year-old would certainly fit the value for money category as he is available for £4m, despite recently scoring a 51st goal for his country. Keane himself may be open to a move to Loftus Road as it would allow him to remain in the English capital. However, there are drawbacks to any potential move to Rangers. The club habitually changes manager, and even though current boss Neil Warnock brilliantly steered his team to promotion last season, his future is somehow still in doubt. Risky.
Kevin Doyle (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
It seems unlikely Doyle will be exiting Molineux after Arsenal’s interest in the forward tailed off. Doyle himself is used to living with empty speculation, as last summer he was also linked with leaving Wolves. His manager Mick McCarthy would be distraught if he were to lose such a key player from his squad. The 27-year-old’s expensive price tag is believed to be putting potential suitors off, especially penniless Everton.
Shane Long (Reading)
On 3 August big-spending Leicester City reportedly made a club record bid for Long. Manager Sven Goran-Eriksson is hell-bent on guiding his side to the top tier next season and is in the market for a talented frontman. A figure of £8m is what Reading will reportedly accept, and the Foxes are said to be willing to break their transfer record to sign Long.
West Ham United have also emerged as strong candidates to sign Long with the player himself seemingly receptive to a move south. On 2 August the striker said: “I’m staying out of it and letting everybody else get on with it. If it was true they were interested, West Ham are a big club, so it would definitely be something for me to think about.” The Hammers themselves already had a slightly smaller bid rejected last week. Premier League clubs West Brom, Fulham, Everton and Newcastle are still interested, but it is the Championship clubs that have shown the greatest desire so far.
Transfers just gone through/released players
Kevin Kilbane (Hull City/On 2 August was signed on a six-month loan deal by Derby County)
Kilbane, who has accumulated 110 caps for Ireland, surprisingly moved to Nigel Clough’s Derby County. The veteran was expected to join League One club Huddersfield Town, but instead remained in the Championship.
Clough said of his new loan acquisition: “Kevin brings with him a wealth of experience, as well as the ability to play in a variety of positions. He is an international footballer, so first and foremost it is exciting for us to attract another player of that ilk to Derby County. We believe he will be a welcome addition to our squad and, given the type of character and player he is, we have no doubt he will do a good job for us.”
Joey O’Brien (Signed by West Ham United on 30 July)
After spending the entirety of pre-season training at West Ham, manager Sam Allardyce took up the option of signing the free agent O’Brien on a three-year deal. The 25-year-old links up again with a coach whom he knows so well from his time at Bolton Wanderers. O’Brien said of his move to the 1964, 1975 and 1980 FA Cup winners: “The manager wanted me to sign and as soon as I heard that, there was no real hesitation. I’m pleased it’s done and dusted.” The three-time capped international has suffered dreadfully with injuries during his short career, so hopefully he can put all that disappointment behind him and get back into the Ireland squad.
Keith Treacy (Signed by Burnley on 2 August)
Treacy has moved up a division to the Championship after making his expected move to Burnley. The winger, who cost the Clarets just £1m, has signed a three-year deal as his former club Preston North End try to negate a financial crisis. He said of the move: “I’m sorry to be leaving them [Preston] but you’ve got to think about yourself and be selfish. I enjoyed my time at Preston. Their relegation was unfortunate, but obviously I’m looking to better myself as a player, have the best career I can and play as many games as I can for Ireland.”
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